Ireland has been ranked as the eighth highest binge drinking nation in the world, according to a recently published study.

The study, conducted by the world intergovernmental organisation the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), undertook the study to measure population health and health system performance across its member countries.

Among other factors impacting health, alcohol consumption was analysed across 33 OECD member countries.

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Describing alcohol use as a "leading cause of death and disability", the study measured binge drinking - or "heavy episodic drinking" - of both men and women in these countries.

The countries were ranked according to numbers of adults who reported having binged by consuming six or more drinks in one sitting in the last month.

Nine of the top 10 are European countries, with the United States the only exception finishing tenth.

First in the list sits Denmark with 37% of its respondents reporting a binge drinking session, followed in second by Romania at 37%. The UK finished in third at a very high 35%.

Table showing the percentage of adults in 33 OECD countries who admitted to consuming six or more drinks in one sitting within the past month

By the same metric, Ireland finds itself ranked eight in the list at 25%, followed by Iceland at 24% and the United States in tenth at 23%.

In terms of binge drinking by gender, Ireland reports as the fifth highest ranked country for female binge drinkers across the 33 countries, behind only Germany, Luxembourg, the UK and Denmark.

The conclusion to the OECD's analysis of alcohol consumption was that men were more likely than women to report heavy episodic drinking.

It also reported that policies such as minimum unit pricing (MUP) - a minimum price for alcohol under which a drink cannot be sold - implemented in Ireland in 2022 are highly cost-effective in tackling harmful alcohol use.

The HSE says that alcohol dependence can negatively impact health in several ways, including the aggravation of depression, high blood pressure, low fertility and weight gain.

If you struggle with alcohol or drugs dependence, you can contact the HSE's confidential helpline on 1800 459 459 from Monday to Friday between 9:30am and 5:30pm.

The helpline can also be emailed at

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